Ashok Amritraj's Hyde ParkEntertainment is teaming up with Merchant Ivory Productions (MIP) to co-produceJames Ivory's latest film The City Of Your Final Destination which is set to star Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney,Omar Metwally, Hiro Sanada, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Norma Aleandro, AlexandraMaria Lara and Kate Burton.
Hyde Park International ishandling sales here on the film which is set to shoot in the US and Argentinalater this month.
The City is based on the novel by Peter Cameron and stars starsMetwally as an Iranian-born graduate student at the University Of Kansas whotravels to Argentina to seek permission from the family of a deceased LatinAmerican author to write his authorized biography. Hopkins plays the author'sbrother, Linney his widow, Gainsbourg his mistress and Sanada the lover ofHopkins' character.
Ivory's longtimescreenwriting collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote the screenplay andlongtime MIP associates Richard Hawley and Paul Bradley are producing, takingover the mantle from the late Ismail Merchant who died last year duringpost-production on MIP's The White Countess.
"Ismail was our mentor and Paul and I were his producing partners for 20 years," said Hawley. "This film is proof that his legacy is still going strong and Merchant Ivory will continue producing movies."
LA-based Indian-bornAmritraj will act as executive producer on the film, and the irony is not loston him that an Indian ex-pat is taking over Merchant's mantle. "The Indianconnection had something to do with my getting involved," said Amritraj."Richard and Jim approached me when they were putting it together and I thinkit's a very tasteful, lovely film. I have watched and enjoyed the films thatJim and Ismail have done over the years." Amritraj said that the budget was inthe high teens.
Ivory has never made a filmin Latin America before and he has recruited several Latin collaborators on thefilm including veteran Argentinian actress Aleandro and Spanish cinematographerJavier Aguirresarobe whose credits include The Sea Inside, The Others and Milos Forman's upcoming Goya's Ghosts.
Metwally's credits include Munich and the upcoming Rendition with Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal; Sanadawas in Ivory's The White Countessas well as Danny Boyle's Sunshine,The Last Samurai and Rush Hour3, while Romanian actress Lara'scredits include Downfall andFrancis Ford Coppola's upcoming Youth Without Youth.
Hopkins has worked withIvory on three previous occasions - in Howards End (1992), The Remains Of The Day (1993) and Surviving Picasso (1995).